Macro Economy

Power generation up, deficit across regions goes down

Maulik Madhu | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on December 16, 2015

bl16_power supply

Improved domestic coal supply, transmission network boost performance

India’s electricity generation is up almost 5 per cent this year (during January-October), according to the recent Index of Industrial Production.

Data from the Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power, lends further credence to this. At 908 billion units, power generation during January-October 2015 rose 5 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The power deficit situation too improved across the country. At the all India level, the power deficit (difference between power available and power required) shrank 36 per cent to 23 billion units during January-October this year compared with the same period in 2014. As a percentage of power required, the deficit fell from -4 per cent to -2.5 per cent.

The fact that the deficit declined across all regions, with the sharpest fall in the Southern and the Western regions, is also worth mentioning. Deficit in the two regional grids more than halved to -2.1 per cent and -0.4 per cent respectively in 2015 from 2014.

What’s at work

With coal being the primary fuel for power generation, an improved supply of domestic coal helped. Both production and sale of coal from Coal India improved 8 per cent to 426 million tonnes and 431million tonnes respectively during January-October 2015, compared with the year before.

A stronger and wider power transmission infrastructure too helped.

This is particularly so for the Southern region. “A strengthening in the transmission network connecting the north with the south has augmented the power transfer capacity,” says Sabyasachi Majumdar, Vice-President Co-Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA.

The country added 22,100 circuit km of transmission lines during 2014-15, almost one-third more than that in 2013-14. The transformation capacity too went up by 14 per cent to 65,550 MVA (Mega Volt Amp) during this period.

While a declining deficit implies an improving power supply situation, it may not necessarily lead to fewer power cuts for all. This is because the deficit is calculated as the shortfall in power availability (supply) compared with the power requirement of the State distribution utilities.

Power cuts not over

But, electricity required by the state distribution utilities may not be the same (in fact it would be smaller) as that needed by people. Given their poor financial health, many distribution utilities have been resorting to load shedding rather than purchasing costly power beyond a point, for supplying to people at below-cost rates.

Published on December 16, 2015
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor